US and Japanese officials have agreed to let the US Navy station a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Japan for the first time, government officials said Thursday.
Although American troops have been based in Japan since the end of World War II, the Japanese public has long been wary of a US nuclear presence because of the fear of radiation leaks. The decision comes 60 years after the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to force the Japanese Empire to surrender.
It is the second agreement to come to light this week between the two governments in advance of high-level meetings Friday and Saturday at the US Defense Department between US Defense and State Department officials and Japanese military and foreign ministry officials. On Wednesday, US officials struck a deal with Japan to build a heliport at an American base on Okinawa.
The nuclear-powered carrier would replace the USS Kitty Hawk, a diesel-powered carrier based in Yokosuka, Japan. The officials provided no other details about the agreement.